You are in Forks, and want to go to Portland, right? The shortest route on Google Maps is US101 south to Aberdeen, US12 east to I5 and then south. That makes sense to me.
But I don't think there is anything wrong with alternatives like 101 back around the east side of the Olympics, or US101 south to Astoria, and then either US30 or US26 to Portland - they'll just be a bit longer and take more time. But you can see those numbers yourself.
Taking the route East from Forks through Port Angeles is 37 miles LONGER than the southerly route via Aberdeen. Both are easily done. We prefer the Southern route via Aberdeen as it has much less traffic. Be aware of logging trucks on that route--they move pretty fast.
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If I'm reading your post correctly, You are getting to Port Angeles from Olympia on the eastern loop of the 101 along Hood Canal. Other than the longer drive to go via Forks to loop back to I-5 I see no reason to avoid that route if you have not seen it. You could make a short detour to Cape Flattery and stop at a few other spots along the coast. When you reach Aberdeen, take hwy 12 to Centralia (I-5).
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edited 04/13/12 10:33am by ArcticDodge *
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101 South of Forks is a beautiful drive. A bit curvy in spots but very doable if you slow down. In the summer (especially on weekends) the traffic may be greater. If you went back to PA and came down the Hood Canal side of 101 it is also twisty and the same with traffic. Take the Hood Canal bridge out of PA and you fight traffic.
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